The Wake of the Dream

Valenti knew.

He walked right up to us in the middle of the Crashdown, talking about trust, bringing us the camera on the counter. Liz was going over Tess' schedule - as if that was going to help - when he set it down on the counter.

Right in front of Max.

I could see him struggling when Valenti turned away. He wanted to tell him.

"Don't even think about it, Maxwell," I said quietly. He flinched and looked down at the camera.

Great. Now we had one less way of knowing what was going to happen next.

Our choices were narrowing fast.


The phone was ringing at my house, and I couldn't find it. I remembered the last time it rang. When Liz called to tell me she was coming over.

I remembered what happened after she came over, and stuff went flying faster.

I found it under some old sketches. I almost said her name into the receiver.

"Yeah," I mumbled instead, kicking dried up paintbrushes out of my way.

"Michael?" Isabel said.

I almost dropped the receiver.

It was just a dream -

"Uh," I said, trying to make my mouth work. "Yeah."

"Come over," She said.

I paused. Come over? "Why?"

"Just do it, Michael, alright?"

And then she hung up.

I stared at the receiver. Come over. What was that? She'd never -

It doesn't mean anything -

I blinked, the receiver still in my hand. She was my family. If she needed me -

I dropped the phone and grabbed my jacket on my way out.


I planted my feet on their rooftop and slowed down when I heard voices.

" was like she could make my mind go places I wasn't taking it," Max said.

"How about your body?" Isabel asked.

I paused, trying to be quiet. I don't know why. I'd never eavesdropped on them before.

Now seemed a good time to start.

"Did you feel like something inside of you was - you know - changing?..." Isabel asked.

It's only a dream -

" it was - waking up?"

It's time to wake up, Michael -

"Something primal," Max whispered.

"Instinctive," Isabel said.

"Something not human," He whispered.

I lurched forward, opening the window. Max stood up fast.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't know," I muttered, shrugging my shoulders. "You tell me."

"I called him," Isabel said.

I didn't look at her.

It doesn't mean anything -

"I don't think any of us should stay alone tonight," She said.


I was on the sleeping bag, a blanket thrown over me. I listened to Max's breathing, waiting until I was sure he was asleep to reach out to Liz.

When I found her, she was dreaming. Damnit. I wanted to talk to her, to tell her something weird was happening...

She was dreaming about me. It took me a second to realize it.

The two of us were out in the desert. She'd packed a picnic basket, filled with chocolate cake and hot sauce. She was passing me a slice of cake, smiling at me with her eyes down, and I pushed her hand away, leaning in to kiss her, and she laughed, dropping the plate beyond the blanket, sighing as her hands circled around my neck -

She looked happy.

Liz made it easy to love her.

I let go of her dream reluctantly, letting the connection fade and bleed into nothingness, focusing on the room. Max's room. I tried to relax.

I was asleep a few minutes later.


We were out in the desert with the symbols surrounding us, Isabel and me and I was kissing her stop and I wanted her so much, I didn't want anyone else stop I only wanted Isabel stop and I'd never loved anyone like this I couldn't remember ever feeling like this and stop I won't stop and I can't stop it's not her and I wouldn't stop and It's not Liz-

It's not Liz.



I sat up straight, gasping for breath, waking Max up.

"What is it," He whispered.

I stood up. "Isabel -"

He tore into her room. She was sitting up in bed, gasping, her eyes wide and scared.

Max got on her bed. "Are you ok?" He asked. She didn't answer.

"Is, what did you see?"

She looked at him.

And then she looked at me.

"It was only a dream," She whispered, her voice choked.


Oh god -

"It was only a dream," I whispered.


Max held the page flat. The page with the symbols on it.

"That's the one," I said, pointing to the diagonal lines and the four boxes, removing my hand quickly.

"And you're sure you both had the same dream," Max said, his eyes serious. "The rock formation, the map on the ground, everything?"

I glanced at Isabel. She was wrapped up in a blanket.

Did she -

"Yeah," I said, cutting off the thought. "Yes."

"Think!" He said quickly. "Was there anything else, anything unusual? I mean...what were you guys doing out in the middle of the desert?"


I glanced at her. We'd both said it at the same time. Max shifted his eyes from me to her and back again.

"Nothing important," Isabel said. Quieter this time.

That shouldn't hurt, I thought.

I don't want Isabel, she's - she's Isabel, she's like my sister, she's -

"There was this one other thing," Is said. "When Tess was here yesterday, when she told me to look for signs, she made that symbol out of sugar cubes."

"So it means something," Max said, staring at the symbols."If we just knew how to read this -"

There was a pause. I felt Isabel's eyes on me.

"Michael," She hissed. I didn't answer.

"Tell him, Michael -"

"Tell me what?" Max said, standing up.

I let out my breath. I didn't realize I'd been holding it.

I shrugged. "I thought I figured it out once, but..."

"But what?" He demanded.

"I was wrong," I snapped.

"What if you weren't?" Isabel said, louder this time. She turned to Max. "Michael used the V constellation to navigate the symbols."

He stared at me, then at the page. "How did you know how to do that?"

"I just knew," I muttered, pursing my lips and shaking my head. I sighed. "But it didn't work."

"But what didn't work?"

Isabel took over. "The night you were drunk, Michael and I went to the public library. That's where the symbol was supposed to lead."

Max looked at me. I looked out the window.

"We thought that if Nasedo left us a symbol at the cave, then we should send one back to him," Isabel finished.

"Why didn't you tell me about this, Michael?" He asked, his voice dangerous.

"You mean why didn't I get your approval?" I snapped.

"Do you realize what you did? That's why Nasedo is here. It's why he's pretending to be Tess. You led him right to us!"

"Yeah," I said, turning on him. "I thought that was the goal -"

"The goal is to stay in control. It always has been. Discovery on our one else's."

I tried to close my mouth. Discovery on our terms? When did he come up with that one? I'd never heard him -

"- I mean, this whole search you've been on, didn't you ever think it could lead to this?"

"Lead to what?" I said, leaning in to him. "An answer to every question we ever had? Maybe Nasedo is here to make things better," I said, waving my hands. "Oh, I forgot - what could be better than your comfortable little life in Roswell, New Mexico. Why are you so scared to be alien?"

"Why are you so scared to be human?" He snapped.

"That's enough!"

We both looked at her. She was standing up.

For the first time that night, I looked at her. Really saw her.

She was a wreck.

She was terrified, I thought. I hadn't even asked her -

Asked her what? What she thought? What she felt?

I shoved the thought away.

It was only a dream -

"Do you ever stop to ask how I feel? No," She said, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. "You're too busy deciding who's right to notice that this is happening to me, too." She took a breath. "Whatever Tess did when she was here yesterday, the sugar cubes, the..." Her voice trailed off.

She looked at me. "I think she made me have that dream," She said.

Tess made her have the dream.

That meant she was in my head, too.

Unless I'm mistaken, the two of you are bonded for life -

"Let's just try to be prepared," Max said, his eyes back on me, his voice low. "You never know when these dreams may come again."

Isabel took the stairs first. Max was right behind her. He was halfway up the stairs when he turned back to look at me. "You coming?"

I looked at the front door. "You know, um -" I looked back at him. Is had disappeared into her room.

"Maybe it's - maybe it's happening because I'm here. Because I'm close to Isabel."

He blinked and folded his arms. "Yeah," He said, his head nodding. "So?"

"So - so she's upset," I snapped, waving my hand. "Maybe if I go, it -"

He snorted a laugh. I stared up at him.

"If I'm gone, maybe it won't happen again," I finished, my voice darker.

He sighed loudy and rolled his eyes. "Do what you want, Michael," He said, shaking his head and turning around. "Just be careful."

That's not what I meant, I thought. "I don't -"

He waved his hands at me. "Fine," He interrupted, walking up the stairs again. "Get your stuff and go."

I watched him walk to the top and turn the corner.

I'm wearing it, I thought.

I grabbed my shoes where I'd left them, right by the door. A few minutes later I was running to the Crashdown.

To Liz.


It was cold outside. Damn desert, I thought. Hot all day long, freezing all night long-

The light was on in her room. I could see it from the street. I climbed the ladder, my hands moving quickly over the cold metal, the chill burning my skin.

{Liz -}

She didn't answer. I reached the top and swung my legs over the ledge, reaching out to her.


She was sitting on the edge of her bed, her head in her hands.

I tried to swallow the fear in my throat. I walked to the window. She didn't move.

I put my hand against the glass. My teeth clenched against the inside of my mouth.


Her hands dropped and she looked up at me.

She was crying.

I dropped my head, clenching my eyes shut, blackness drowning the image out.

{I saw you, Michael.}

I took a breath.

{Liz - it's not -}

"It's not what, Michael?" She said, just loud enough for me to hear her. "It's not - you were with -"

Don't say it, I thought.

If you say it, it makes it real -

I looked up at her.

Her shoulders were shaking. Her lips were moving but she wasn't making any sound. I tried to read the words -

"Oh, God," She was whispering. "Oh, my God -"

I tasted blood in my mouth.

"Liz," I said, my hand pressed against the glass. "Let me in."

She didn't move.


All I could get out was a whisper.

"Let. Me. In."

There was a pause and then I heard her hand on the lock. I let my hand relax, felt some of my weight shift back to my body. She turned the lock and looked up at me, her lip trembling, caught between her teeth. Waiting for me to say something.

"I'm sorry," I whispered, my hands reaching for her. "I'm sorry -"

She stepped back, trying to twist away from me, gasping when I touched her, her hands flying up to push me away or clutch me closer, I couldn't tell which but she was touching me, I thought, at least she was touching me and I stepped through the window, clumsy, knocking things over, trying to get her close to me, thinking I can fix this, damnit, I can fix this and her hands were shoving me away and I have to stop it, I thought, pulling her close faster than she could stop me, wrapping my arms around her tight, crushing her to me, my hands locking on my arms and she was shoving harder, her shoulders shaking against me, muffled sobs quieted by my shirt.

"I'm not letting go," I said, clutching her tighter. My vision blurred and I blinked until it cleared again. "I'm not letting go."

I held her tight while her body fought me and held me at the same time and finally I felt her body relax against me, going limp, her hands not pushing anymore but not holding me either. I unlocked my hands, the muscles in my hands and forearms aching, and let my hands rise up to her head.

She flinched a little and I felt her body tense.

"Shh," I whispered quickly, letting my hands smooth her hair, feeling the silk of it against the palm of my hands.

"I'm not going anywhere," I whispered. "I'm not going anywhere."

She whimpered a little and her hands clutched the fabric of my clothes tight, releasing them immediately and then she was pulling my body closer to her, her grip tight like she didn't want to let me go -

"I couldn't stop it," She whispered. "I couldn't -"

"It's okay," I whispered.

She shook her head against my body and looked up at me. "It's not okay, Michael, I -" She bit down on her lip. "I can't - I can't do that again," She whispered. "I can't."

Dark times are coming, and you're not taking them seriously -

I stared at her. Her eyes were dark liquid, threatening to spill again. I'd never felt this helpless. I had to stop it -

"We're going back," I said.

She blinked and tears spilled. I moved to get them before she did. "Back to what?" She whispered, her voice hoarse.

"Back to talk to them," I whispered. "The babe magnet."


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